Malawi's president thanks US for renewing textile trade deal with Africa

Banda is on a 10-day trip to the United States and stopped in Washington, D.C., before heading to New York for the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Thursday's luncheon was part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 42nd Annual Legislative Conference.

Malawi was on the verge of a transition crisis earlier this year when President Bingu wa Mutharika died suddenly in office. Banda, then the vice-president, won out in the end as called for under the nation's constitution; on Thursday she thanked the African diplomats at the luncheon who she said helped her behind the scenes.

Banda also used the opportunity to give a shout-out to former Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), a longtime congressional leader on African affairs who died suddenly in March.

“Congressman Payne was a trusted and dedicated friend of Africa,” Banda said to loud applause. “We shall remain grateful” for his service.

The luncheon was hosted by Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassDem rep on Trump tweet: ‘An embarrassment on the international stage’ Sunday Shows preview: Debate over memo takes spotlight in Washington Dem rips GOP lawmaker for calling for FBI 'purge': Maybe he needs a history lesson MORE (D-Calif.), who has taken over Payne's place.